The series consists of three separate arcs. The first is about Capeta's first experiences with kart racing at the age of 10. The next arc, which starts four years later, deals with Capeta trying to handle his growing financial issues due to the high cost involved in kart racing. The third is about Capeta trying to realize his dream of beating his rival and becoming a professional racer, venturing through into a more senior category: Formula Three. Both the anime and manga features numerous references and homages to Initial D and Best Motoring International references, as well as Formula One. In addition to this, there are many karting and racing references that not only add flesh to the story, but are also factual (such as comments about racing lines, tire usage, slip streaming and general commentary on the world of four-wheel racing).
Introduction & Synopsis:
Taira Capeta was a 4th grader boy. He had lost his mother when he was very little. Although he pretended to be fine, always saying "it's alright" to his father's (Shigei's) constant absence for work, he felt very lonely and was always bored.
One day, while completing a paving job at a go-kart track, his father sees young boys racing at the track and is amazed at the speed and seeming thrill of the sport. Realizing that the only time his son has shown any real interest in anything, it was in fast cars... more particularly, racing cars (F1). Thus shigei asks the circuit steward as to whether he could take some old worn-down parts out of the circuit's trash pile. Taking these back to his workplace, he manages to construct a rundown yet drivable kart. Shigei's boss, Mr. Ikari, supplies a 4-stroke generator engine to power the kart. (which is 20km/h slower than a run-off-the-mill 2 stroke kart-engine)
Soon, they went to a circuit to drive the kart. However, it quickly became aparent that the kart's frame was distorted, making it unable to run straight. With his technique -going full throttle, turning the steering wheel and shifting his weight- he eventually manages to drive the kart & soon he catches and attempts to overtake one of the slower carts on the track. His driving evolves even further as he changes his lines to utelise the kart's natural momentum while hardly using his brakes, thus cornering without killing his speed, which amazes Nanako Minamoto (an ex Formula J-racer) even more & becomes noticed by all the onlookers of the racing-track.
Capeta's eventual overtaking maneuver shocks the driver Naomi Minamoto to the extent that he drops the accelerator of his kart, blasting past Capeta. This incident infuriates his mother and team manager, Nanako Minamoto, as he over-revved a brand new engine which he was supposed to be merely running in for the junior national championship.
Nanako, further blown away after hearing this was Capeta's first time ever driving a kart, offers to help Capeta's entry into the world of kart racing, secretly hoping to pitch him as a rival for her son who lacks having any. After what is a difficult conversation for Capeta, the Taira father-and-son duo turn down the offer to enroll Capeta in the Endless Autohouse Racing team and run their own single kart team on their own instead. Nobu Andou and Monami Suzuki, Capeta's best friends, support him in his karting - Nobu as his technical assistant/manager and Monami as the self-appointed team manager.
Yeah, I really love this manga and its anime. I dicovered this one a few years ago (2009), and it really sucked me in from the moment capeta started to show his incedible talent at racing. The story is very realistic, you learn quite a lot about the racing-world and the characters are also very fleshed out. Every time a chapter comes out, I end up watching the whole series again... (which is 4 times by now over the years) The reason I decided to finally post this thread is because i feel too many people don't know about this manga and/or haven't given it a real/decent try, thinking it's a kiddie-show, which it really isn't.
Sadly, the chapters u can find translated only go from Vol 1 to Vol 4 (chapter 1) and then from Vol 11 to Vol 16 (chapter 1)
This is not a huge loss concidering the anime pretty much tells the story from Vol 1 to Vol 12, the Formula Stella Rasing School arc. At this point however, the manga deviates from the anime untill the end (ep 48-52).
The story that the manga follows is so interesting and always gets me really excited, to the point I even downloaded and scimmed through a couple of raws, which I normally never, ever do... The chapter-releases are just that abysmally slow, reaching the point of almost even frustrating me...
But basicly, it tells the story of how capeta has to pave his way into the racing-world and eventually into the ultimate world of F1-racing.
Awesome animation-quality, great sound-tracks, very interesting story and u'll get sucked into the racing-action from early on (episode 3-4). The only really negative point in this anime is the fact that the anime slows down arround episode 20 to 28.
The story revolves arround Capeta and the team having serious money-issues and they dragged it out for a couple of episodes too many... (which could have been due to the fact that they had to slow down as they almost had caught up with the manga at that time.)
But from then on it quickly becomes exciting againt and u'll get to see one of the most memorable races of the whole anime & Capeta moving up in the racing world -the FSRS and Formula-stella world- .
Just give it a try, maybe even spread the wordt if u end up liking it aswell ^^
Average: 9.4 / 10.0 (64 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.58 / 10.0
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